YCH unit in tie-up to boost deep tech start-ups

Mr James Ong of YCH Group's corporate venture arm Supply Chain Angels said that its partnership with SGInnovate aims to help deep tech start-ups "scale faster and wider across geographies".
Mr James Ong of YCH Group's corporate venture arm Supply Chain Angels said that its partnership with SGInnovate aims to help deep tech start-ups "scale faster and wider across geographies".PHOTO: YCH

Supply Chain Angels (SCAngels), the corporate venture arm of YCH Group, yesterday announced a partnership with SGInnovate to bolster Singapore's deep tech start-up scene.

Under the Startup SG Equity scheme, SCAngels will set aside an initial investment of $10 million to bankroll early-stage start-ups focusing on technologies, including artificial intelligence, cyber security and the Internet of Things.

In tandem with Singapore's Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 Plan, the partnership will "identify and co-invest in innovative Singapore-based deep tech start-ups with intellectual property and global market potential in the Services and Digital Economy domain", SCAngels and YCH said in a joint release. SCAngels will be responsible for leading investment negotiations with start-ups appointed through a stringent selection process, they said.

SGInnovate's founding CEO Steve Leonard said: "Deep technology start-ups typically have a longer road map for development and commercialisation, and this may discourage some private-sector VCs (venture capitalists) whose LPs (limited partners) expect shorter-term returns."

With the inclusion of SCAngels, Mr Leonard added that it now has on board several VCs who have committed to be active investors in Singapore's deep tech start-ups, and that they look forward to working with the VCs.

This collaboration is also timely as Singapore will be taking over the Asean chairmanship next year, with a focus on developing the digital economy and cross-border e-commerce.

Said Mr James Ong, partner at SCAngels: "With this partnership and leveraging YCH Group's network, resources and facilities such as in Supply Chain City, we are confident that we are able to help deep technology companies, which are highly differentiated and hard to replicate, scale faster and wider across geographies."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2017, with the headline 'YCH unit in tie-up to boost deep tech start-ups'. Print Edition | Subscribe